(SEWS) is a Department of Education (DoE) school established in 1971. The school is located on the fringe of the Ku-ring-gai National Park in the Sydney suburb of St. Ives and enjoys a close relationship with its local community.
The school operates six face-to-face classes and eleven Distance Education (DE) classes. The school provides quality education for four face-to-face classes for students K-12 with moderate to severe intellectual disability, physical disability and complex medical conditions, two face-to-face classes within an Autism Support Unit (ASU) supporting young people in Years K to 6 with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and eleven distance education classes in the Distance Education Support Unit (DESU) for students with a Disability Confirmation of either mild, moderate or severe intellectual disability P-12 who are eligible for enrolment in alignment with the DE Enrolment Procedures.
The student population presents with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, complex medical conditions, sensory impairment and/ or an ASD. Students attending SEWS may present with multiple disabilities. SEWS’ face-to-face enrolments are predominantly from the northern region of Sydney; its distance education students are state-wide, resulting in a diverse student population from a range of socio-economic backgrounds.
The school provides outcome-based educational programs utilising the NSW BOSTES K-6 and Life Skills syllabuses, and personalised learning plans for students. The school is embraced by its wider and local community resulting in enhanced resources and equipment, specialised learning environments and regular community volunteers. SEWS believes that all students have the ability to further develop cognitively, physically and socially through quality, diverse and authentic educational programs.
The school’s student-centred approach provides ‘best practice’ for greater student autonomy, access, participation and achievement through a rich and diverse curriculum, and quality teaching and learning opportunities for all abilities. The school’s priority areas of communication, physical mobility and transition are embedded throughout the curriculum. SEWS prides itself on utilising augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) and provides students access to appropriate new technologies to further support their learning and communication needs.
Student learning and support is paramount, and parent, carer and tutor relationships are fostered to provide for optimal student engagement and learning. SEWS’s teaching and non-teaching staff are experienced in special education, dedicated to quality education and to meeting the additional needs of students enrolled at the school. The school features well-equipped air conditioned classrooms with spacious and attractive outdoor learning spaces. Situated on a level site with easy access, the school also features a heated hydrotherapy pool that is utilised by the school and the community. DESU students and families are welcome to the school when they are able to visit and to attend all major whole school events.
SEWS offers a variety of specialised environments, activities and specialist services to further support all our students learning. These include a school/community funded physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist and music therapist, a registered nurse, hydrotherapy pool and a multi sensory learning environment. SEWS is committed to the learning and support of all our students and families. With a dedicated staff, strong community connections, high expectations and individual student success, SEWS continues to embrace diversity and celebrate ability.